THE BIG SKY

Canal Boat - - BOATERS BREAK - with Seb Jay

Moon­rise on July 27 is rather spe­cial. We’ll have a full moon, but it’ll rise fully eclipsed in Earth’s shadow. That fa­mil­iar sil­ver gi­ant that we all know so well will ap­pear as a ghostly dark orb over the east­ern hori­zon shortly be­fore 9:30pm. Night’s deep­en­ing dark­ness sees our ‘ghost moon’ rise higher into the sky. As it does so cop­pery red tones might de­velop over its sur­face. By about 10:20pm the left limb of the moon bright­ens – a sign that our first to­tal lu­nar eclipse vis­i­ble from the UK since Septem­ber 2015 is com­ing to an end. And 25 min­utes later the left half of the moon is re­stored; its sil­ver face gain­ing ever more promi­nence. Shrink­ing away to the right is the re­main­der of Earth’s shadow, the curved di­vid­ing line be­tween the light and dark por­tions be­ing a pro­jec­tion of Earth’s cur­va­ture on the moon’s sur­face.

At 11:15pm the show’s over. Our full moon is back to nor­mal, but you won’t fail to no­tice a red ‘star’ sat be­neath the moon. This ‘star’ is Mars, which makes its bright­est ap­pear­ance in the sky since 2003 on the same night!

Eclipsed moon ris­ing in 2015

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